For the last few years people always searching for alternative fuel. This topic always become hot topic when the crude oil prices soar past the price of USD 100 per barrel. In our country , Indonesia it seemed that there is no serious effort to overcome the problem. No body can forecast the crude oil prices, it is not only depend on supply and demand, its too much influence by political. It’s very sensitive to the changes in global political situation. The tensions between Israel and Iran could trigger the crude oil price increase.
Currently the government planned to increase the fuel prices, discussion in the media are intensify, oppositions try to take advantage from the situation to undermine the government, even there are rumors that certain party will gather a huge demonstration to pressed the government on this issue. As usual the fuel price become a hot topic for politicians.
As for solution, there are in fact some recommendations. Some suggest to use the nuclear, it said that nuclear enery is cheaper compare to crude oil, geothermal, wind or solar energy, some suggest to develop fuel from jatropha and also cassava.
Exploration of Oil and Gas needs high technology and huge investment especially when we explore in the deep water or in the remote area. This business is high risk and the pay back is not in short time period at least we have successful exploration and find reserves that economic enough to develop it will take about 5-6 years to generate crude provided that goverment support all the effort especially in the land clearing and permits
Geothermal Energy considered as a clean energy as it is renewable energy, still this energy needs huge investment to develop. To make matter worse the source of geothermal energy often time lay in the forest (protected forest) so that the development in the area willl face opposition from environmentalist.
This morning I read in the Jakarta Post that West Java Province has successfully produce alternative fuel from Cassava, they call it BIOSING (BIO SINGKONG, Singkong is Cassava in Indonesian Language). I believe it is a solution that will fit perfectly with the situation in Indonesia where there are a lot of land and it does not need a high technology and huge Investment.
The report said that from cassava which cultivated in the 3,700 hectare plot can produce the Biosing 5,000 liter. The factory is in Ciawi , Bogor, West Java. The owner is S. Adibrata.
Adibrata has developed the Biosing for the pas five years. He said that a liter of Biosing with the same octane level as Pertamax can be produced from 6 kilogram of cassava in a process lasting 72 hours. The Production Cost is Rp.4,500 (50 USD Cents) .
Adibrata further said that the demand for Biosing is very high. I think Indonesia should take the opportunity to develop this alternative fuel.
Unlike Biofuel from Jatropha, Biosing from Cassava has higher economic value in that the waste can be sold for Rp.1,200 per Kilogram to produce ethanol with an octane level of 80, which can be used as cooking stoves. Its liquids waste can be fermented as organic fertilizer to fertilize the Cassava Farm.
It looks like that BIOSING is not only cheaper than the fossil fuel but it also environmental friendly as its waste can substitute the urea which its used can kill 12 billion bacteria in 1 square meter land.
For initial stage West Java Province would provide idle and critical land not farmland for planting Cassava to support productions
I think West Java Province is in a right direction to provide a solution to high fuel price. Let support the effort. I believe that this will increase economy in rural area. And It will prevent the urbanization and in turn it will also reduced the problems of migrant worker. It will improve the quality of life of many people especially in rural area.
It is high time for us to develop this alternative fuel, it does not need high skill and huge investment.